IT was a fitting memorial for Larry Abel. The traditional New Year's Day Schoolboy's tournament was played yesterday as a tribute to the former Hong Kong Rugby Football Union director of youth who died last November. Everyone present - it was certainly the largest crowd seen this season at a rugby event barring the Hong Kong Sevens - would have wholeheartedly agreed with Larry's sentiments, if he was around. 'He would have described it in only one way - 'It is a Top Day'. That is how he always said it if he was enjoying himself,' said Trevor Gregory, Larry's close friend and confidante. It certainly was tops. The holiday atmosphere, the festive spirit and the unfettered play of youth combined to make the day an enjoyable one for the 3,000-strong crowd at the Hong Kong Football Club. It was a success not only because of the fun and games, but also because of the large sprinkling of Chinese faces seen in action yesterday. If this tournament is a true barometer of the progress of development, then Hong Kong rugby can be smugly satisfied with the way the future is developing. Hong Kong rugby can survive the transition from British to Chinese rule in 1997, only if the feeder system at the junior level is in working order. Yesterday, the system looked in fine working order. Rugby was the winner yesterday as the Hong Kong and the Overseas schoolboys put on an exhibition which was fair, entertaining and full of commitment. As has happened for the last five years, the Middlesex Cup, the feature game of the day between the two Under-19 teams, was won by the Overseas Schoolboys who beat their local counterparts 13-0. The Under-17 fixture also saw the Overseas boys winning 33-5, while the Under-15 encounter was a 10-10 draw. Hong Kong, however, won the Under-13 match, triumphing 17-0. Lorna Abel, Larry's daughter, handed out the prizes to the winning teams at the end of the Under-19 game. The Best and Fairest player in the Under-19 game was won by KGV centre Hadden Daly, while the Best and Fairest Player of the day award went to Hong Kong's Under-15 winger Lee Cheuk-yin.